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USA UK and Malta News
08/02/2008 - 23:02

UK today Editoweb, 08 Feb. 2008

Sharia comments provoke criticism - Doctors back down in hours dispute - Northern Rock debt brought onto govt books - Brown sees influential "global Europe" - New blue tongue case discovered.

Sharia comments provoke criticism
A government minister accused Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams of concocting "a recipe for disaster" for suggesting the introduction in Britain of some aspects of sharia was unavoidable.
Main political parties distanced themselves from Thursday's comments on Islamic law by Williams, the spiritual leader of the world's 77 million Anglicans, who is already battling divisions within his church over gay priests.
Speaking to the BBC, Williams said other religions enjoyed tolerance of their laws in Britain and called for a "constructive accommodation" with Muslim practice in areas such as marital disputes.

Doctors back down in hours dispute
Doctors have backed down in their dispute with the Government over extending GPs' opening hours. The British Medical Association, the largest doctors' association, said the contract on offer was "less damaging" than an alternative the Government had threatened to impose.

Northern Rock debt brought onto govt books
Ailing mortgage lender Northern Rock will be put onto the government's books, official statisticians said on Thursday, further harming Prime Minister Gordon Brown's reputation for economic prowess.
The Northern Rock debacle has dented Brown's popularity and putting the debt on government books will crimp the Labour Party's scope to use public spending to boost slowing growth and woo voters before the next general election, analysts say.

Brown sees influential "global Europe"
Prime Minister Gordon Brown, in marked contrast to his reputation for being cool towards Brussels, called on Friday for a Europe that could play a major role in fighting poverty and disease around the world.
His late arrival at a ceremony to sign a new European Union treaty last year reinforced the belief among many of Britain's EU partners that he was lukewarm towards Europe.
But he has sought cooperation with France, Germany and Italy to tackle a global credit crunch and on Friday he went further than before in advocating a global role for Europe.
"I would say we should think not of a trade bloc Europe but of a global Europe, and I think the role Europe can play in the development of what I would call a global society ... is momentous," Brown told a seminar in London.

New blue tongue case discovered
A new bluetongue protection zone has been set up after a new case of the disease was discovered in Greater London.
The new 20km zone around the latest case covers parts of west and north London as well as extending into Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said.
There are now 75 confirmed cases of the virus in the UK, which is spread by midges and can be fatal to animals such as sheep and cows.

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